Queer-coding

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Synonyms: queercoding
See also: Queer Baiting, subtext, fanon
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Queer-coding is a term used to say that characters were given traits/behaviors to suggest they are not heterosexual/cisgender, without the character being outright confirmed to have a queer identity.

Certain instances of queer-coding, such as Marco's bisexuality in Animorphs, have been confirmed by TPTB to occur because of fear that publishers or networks would not allow an explicitly LGBTQ character.[1][2]

Much has been said about the common trope of queer-coding villains, such as this quote from Fem Magazine:

Feminine mannerisms and melodramatic attitudes typically characterize antagonists such as Jafar in “Aladdin” and Scar in “The Lion King.” Even the creators of Ursula from “The Little Mermaid” looked to the drag queen, Divine, as a model for their sassy and temperamental villainess. By using queerness as a defining feature of a large portion of Disney villains, the company fuels children’s association of those characteristics with evil figures or immorality.[3]

References

  1. https://twitter.com/MichaelGrantBks/status/667531031130411010?s=20
  2. https://twitter.com/MichaelGrantBks/status/662056455348948992?s=20
  3. Disney Movies’ Shifting Narratives: Queer-Coding to LGBT Spotlights, Sydney Sobrepeña, April 14 2018